I'm in the Building Inspectors office trying to get a permit.
The guy walking in with me seems to be new here so I decide to let him go ahead of me...just to see what happens.
Something always happens at this place. Something stupid,that is.
Turns out this guys neighbor turned him in for working on his porch without a permit. So this poor fella gets a letter in the mail saying he needs to come down here and get a permit and pay the penalties.
The horrendous crime this guy committed was replacing 12 rotted pickets on his front porch steps. He said he noticed how they were looking when he came in Friday after work and decided to make a Saturday out of fixing them. Cost him $40...until his neighbor got involved.
So the nice lady (heavy sarcasm here) informs him that he does indeed need a permit since it involves a flight of stairs. Whatever. And, since he failed to pull a permit initially now he owes fees. Their super duper way of calculating fess is just doubling whatever the initial fee would've been. Oh yeah, real fair.
$128. That what they said he "owed" them. I busted out laughing. He literally turned red.
He told the woman (paraphrasing here,obviously): "I spent $40 dollars fixiing my front steps on a Saturday. On private property. And now you are telling me that I owe you TRIPLE that amount because I did not ask your permission first?!?!"
"Yes sir, that is correct"
"Well, tough. I am NOT paying that!"
"I was clear in what I said. I will NOT pay that penalty. I want my day in court."
"You have to pay the fee." <-- Real effective there Hun,I don't think it's gonna work on him.
"I don't owe you anything! And I will not pay you $128 for fixing my steps myself. If you want to try and get that money out of me you will HAVE to sue me and take me to court!!"
He was soooo mad that he was spitting as he spoke. I felt sorry for the guy. I don't know what came over me but I stood up and stuck out my right hand. He looked at me funny. Not understanding what I was doing.
"Buddy,I just want to shake your hand. These greedy idiots drive me crazy around here. I just want you to know you're not alone here thinking this is ridiculous."
He laughed,shook his head and wished me luck. My turn at the counter awarded me some nasty looks after what I said. Ha,like I care.
Anyway,just thought I'd share. People are getting dumber by the day. I mean,what is the neighbor's deal??? The man fixed his pickets...who cares?!
Master HVAC contractor in Maryland for maybe 25 years,
that cancer is slowly spreading here in WVA.
"There's a dead rabbit in the middle of the road in front of 2 different houses.
One is in Maryland, one in WVA.
The guy in Md. calls animal control,
who then calls public works,
who then calls Dep. of Natural Resources,
which show up 3 days later to test the dead animal for disease.
2 days later Animal Control shows up,
in a nice, shiny brand new pickup with custom made animal cages in back.
The 2 guys don their gloves, remove the special built pair of tongs from the truck and
place the dead animal, or what's let of it, in a plastic bag which then is wisked
away to wherever the certified animal graveyard is.
The guy in West Virginia get's his shovel and throws the dead rabbit in the woods."
Depends on the local government.
Was it the "correct" type of board?
They won't let you replace pine if it's supposed to be pressure treated.
Annapolis, they will let a homeowner do certain things.
Paint, drywall, landscaping, maybe even replace roof shingles.
But even if you own the place, electrical, mechanical (hvac), plumbing,
only a licensed contractor is supposed to do that.
And yes, that includes a water heater.
And all of it needs a permit.
Their reasoning.........the average person owns a house for 7 years.
Enough people have bought houses that, for one reason or another,
have serious, life threatening issues, many of which are the result of an unsupervised
layman doing his best.
But still lacking what could have or should have been done.
Which, in the long run, put's the general public in danger.
That's what they told me anyway.
That it creates a ton of government positions, and kills of half of the competition,
which at least doubles the cost, well, those are just extras.